The Way of Catechesis

Exploring Our History, Renewing Our Ministry

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: May 31, 2017

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Winner of a 2018 Association of Catholic Publishers Award: Resources for Ministry (First Place) and a Catholic Press Association Award: Pastoral Ministry (Second Place).

Drawing on more than forty years of experience as a catechist, parish DRE, textbook publisher, and founding director of the Echo Program at the University of Notre Dame, Gerard F. Baumbach explores contemporary catechesis in light of its history. This landmark book is an essential resource for every catechetical leader and will spur a new appreciation of the opportunities and challenges of catechesis in the Church today.

The Way of Catechesis offers a new and timely perspective on the vital ministry of catechesis at a pivotal moment in the work of New Evangelization. Gerard F. Baumbach shows how today’s catechists can follow the pedagogy of Jesus, “the way, the truth, and the life,” and he invites readers to an understanding of essential dimensions for handing on the faith and living in union with Christ the Teacher.

Baumbach asks readers to consider how key issues and questions throughout the Church’s history shed light on today’s questions and concerns. Numerous reflection questions help the reader prayerfully reflect upon and personally integrate the lessons in their own lives. For example:

  • What is Jesus teaching you through the Beatitudes about the need for a new evangelization in your life as you seek to promote the Church’s mission to evangelize?
  • What does our history teach us about inviting Catholics who are distant from the Church to find the way back to this community of faith?
  • What is your earliest memory of hearing about the Second Vatican Council? What questions did you have? What questions about Vatican II do you have now?

Drawing from his own experience, study, and implementation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, Baumbach highlights four characteristics—belonging, believing, discerning, and living—that help the reader connect the history of catechesis with their own faith and practice in the Church today.

Each chapter also includes a broad look at highlights of some important dimensions of the catechetical climate, weaving together influences that affected the era. In addition, Baumbach explains the role of key thinkers throughout the history of catechesis, including Cyril of Jerusalem, Augustine, Peter Canisius, Charles Borromeo, and Josef Jungmann.

Those engaged in catechesis and evangelization at every level will find much to enrich their ministry and deepen their commitment to the Church in this extraordinary book.

Product Details

Pages: 320

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 9781594717147

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

  • “A magnificent resource!”

    The Way of Catechesis is a magnificent resource! The text is concise yet comprehensive; accessible yet substantive. The book will be valuable in parishes and classrooms, and for both true beginners and for scholars in the field. It is truly an impressive accomplishment.”

    John C. Cavadini
    McGrath-Cavadini Director
    McGrath Institute for Church Life
    University of Notre Dame

  • “A blessing.”

    “Gerard Baumbach has been fighting the good fight of authentic catechetical renewal for decades. What a blessing to have his perspective on our disciple-making ministry!”

    Ken Ogorek
    Director of Catechesis
    Archdiocese of Indianapolis

  • “Fills a critical void.”

    “The Way of Catechesis fills a critical void in literature on the ministry of catechesis. Baumbach has blessed us with a volume essential to our vocations as catechists and catechetical leaders.”

    Carole Eipers
    National Catechetical Advisor for William H. Sadlier

  • “Appropriate and helpful for a wide range of readers.”

    “Using the significant points in the history of catechesis as the primary framework, Baumbach weaves together the themes that have shaped and continue to give life to the task of ‘echoing’ the Good News. An accessible writing style and extensive endnotes make the book appropriate and helpful for a wide range of readers.”

    Jane E. Regan
    School of Theology and Ministry
    Boston College

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